Academy Manager in Kenya
David Kariuki Kihu (above right) is one of our brilliant academy managers, from Kutus in central Kenya. When he joined Bridge five years ago he moved 60 km from his hometown of Nyeri to take up his dream job. When he arrived in Kutus, he was humbled by the welcome he received. It felt like home. Today, he’s very proud of the role he plays in his community as an educator. He says, “Here, they put a great value on education.”
As academy manager, David handles the operation of the school, manages the relationship with his community and supports teaching staff. When he’s not busy managing the school he likes nothing more than to get back in the classroom and teach history or social studies.
A typical week for him starts with writing down his goals for the week. He begins every day by arriving early to check each classroom is ready for learning. He’ll then stand by the gate to welcome parents, pupils and teachers for a full day of learning. “My priority,” he says, “is to make sure everyone is happy and earning.”
Bridge, Kutus is thriving in both academics and co-curriculars. Here there are ball games, debates, drama, and music on offer. Drama is where the academy excels—finishing third in recent County-level competitions.
David says, “I joined Bridge because of what I had seen. Bad education. I spoke to the Chiefs and parents in Kutus who told me ‘children are in school, but learning nothing’.” He heard how other schools were too expensive, or not good, adding: “What we wanted was an affordable school.”
David and the parents of Kutus, are excited by the changes that Bridge has brought to their community. Real changes from real learning. Reflecting on his last five years of work, David says: “The best thing that I can say I’ve done is giving children opportunity. A positive attitude about the future has developed in every household. People in Kutus respect my work, and its children are happy.”
He adds, “Children leave Bridge equipped for secondary school. They are confident, prepared and speak English very well.”
His passion for education shines through in his speech. He believes every child should go to a good school. He says: “Education is important for everyone. No matter who you are, learning moves you forward. When a child learns, they can help themselves, and others. Education is changing lives now, and tomorrow.”